Tag: SeattlePI

Seattle Mariners: 10 Slowest Starts in Team History and How They Finished

It’s no secret that the Seattle Mariners are struggling to start the season, but how does this year’s slow start compare to others in history?

Similarly, how did those slow teams finish the year? Does history provide any hope for the 2011 M’s?

I’ve attempted to answer these questions and more by looking at the worst 15 and 30-game starts ever for Seattle.

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Five Reasons Why the Seattle Mariners Can Still Win 81 Games in 2011

The Seattle Mariners haven’t had the start some fans were hoping for: just four wins through 13 games, but there’s no reason for worry.  They’ve had several inauspicious factors working against them early, and there are a couple of key elements that we’ll see come out as the season develops.

They have had a few difficult series matchups [(1) the young, talented Oakland A’s, (2) the 2010 AL Champion Texas Rangers, and (3) the Cleveland Indians, who were coming off a sweep of the World Series favorite Red Sox] that definitely hindered their ability to break out of last year’s slump. 

Another possible contribution to the Mariners’ sub-par opening is a lack of chemistry in the starting lineup. The nine guys who we usually see hitting for the Mariners don’t have the necessary trust that we often see in a winning team. 

Most fans and analysts have labeled 2011 as a rebuilding year for Seattle because they have a pretty new team, but I’m not throwing in the towel yet.  Here are five reasons why we won’t see the Mariners at the bottom of the AL West.

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MLB Power Rankings: Ebbets Field and the Top 50 Stadiums in Baseball History

With the addition of MLB Network and expanded coverage on ESPN and other networks, a baseball fan can literally watch hundreds of baseball games each year from their own home. That said, nothing beats attending a game in person, as it is as much a part of summer as anything.

I have the privilege of living in the Chicago area and going to several games each year at the baseball mecca that is Wrigley Field, and with so many stadiums being rebuilt in the last decade it is one of the few classic stadiums still standing.

Baseball went through a stretch in the 1960 and 1970 when “cookie cutter” multipurpose stadiums were all the rage, and because of that there was an era of stadiums that were uninspired to say the least.

Still, there have been some truly great stadiums over the years, and what follows is the 50 greatest stadiums in baseball history.

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MLB Power Rankings: 15 Best Up-and-Coming Prospects in the AL West

Baseball is all about rebuilding.

Just ask the 1997 Florida Marlins. Or maybe the 2003 Marlins.

With by far the biggest minor league system out of any of the major professional sports, baseball teams are constantly cycling through new players.

All it takes is a slow start to the season. If teams find themselves out of contention early, it’s not uncommon to see them dump big contracts and look towards the farm system and the future.

So, to fully have a grasp on where your team is headed, it is important to keep an eye on the minor leagues and the top prospects.

Let’s take a look at the young guns that can eventually help rebuild some of the teams in the AL West.

Also, I’ll just do it by position, as opposed to ranking them in order. A prospect all-star team, if you will.  

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2011 MLB Draft: 10 Best Options for Mariners With No. 2 Overall Pick

The Mariners have the second overall pick in the draft. This means they can get almost any player they want.

The Pirates, on the hand, can literally get any player they want. While third baseman Anthony Rendon appears to be the consensus overall pick, the Pirates might find pitching a bigger need and go after Gerrit Cole.

We’ll see what the Pirates do, but the Mariners are sure to know who their second pick would be should their first fall off the board.

Here’s a look at the top 10 players that could help them. Although, I’d bank on the final three being the players Jack Zduriencik and his team scout want the most.

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Pitch Value Ranking: Top 10 Fastballs During 2010 MLB Season

Before the start of the season, I wanted to see which pitchers statistically had the best fastballs, curveballs, sliders, cutters, changeups and splitters of the 2010 season.

Here are a look at the top fastballs of the 2010 season. A few notes:

The Pitch Value data was created by Fangraphs.com. I will be using the statistic, wFA, which denotes the runs above average for a particular pitch—in this case a fastball.  

The “wFA” stat benefits starting pitchers and pitchers who throw a certain pitch more often. Because the more often you throw a pitch, the better the chances are of it being successful.

Sometimes, PITCH/FX does not sort pitches into the right category. For example, Brandon Morrow’s splitter was categorized as a fastball.

Both two and four-seam fastballs are lumped together.

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MLB Power Rankings: Which Teams Are in the Black and Which Ones Are Going Broke

Forbes has released its list of the most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball. And, as in most things that have to do with money, they appear to have done a terrific and thorough job.

According to Forbes, the value of baseball franchises has never been higher. Still, some of the more valuable teams, like the Mets, also are the most financially troubled.

The most shocking and disturbing thing about this list is the gap between the value of the top teams and the bottom teams.

Now, I want you to enjoy this slideshow so I won’t give away too many details, but the gap is larger than a billion dollars. The increase in value is fairly slow and steady until we approach the upper-echelon of organizations.

I’ll leave the dynamics of how and where the teams are generating their revenue and value to Forbes.

We are going to discuss how this value affects their payroll and what kind of production they are receiving for their payroll. We can also mix in a little future speculation.

Notes: The 2011 salary figures are estimates that include projected arbitration etc. by Baseball-Reference.com. The individual salaries for players were obtained on SportsCity.com.

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MLB Spring Training 2011: 10 Mariners Questions That Need to Be Sorted Out

How do you fix a team that has lost 100 games twice in three seasons?

That’s the glaring question that general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge are tasked with in 2011.

After a few nice trades and additions propelled the team a giant step forward in 2009, they took another giant step back in 2010. Though most assumed that ’09 team overachieved, the additions to the club last season led those same pundits to believe we’d at least see a similar outcome, perhaps even a better one.

With pitchers and catchers doing bullpen sessions and position players trickling in ahead of the mandatory report date this Friday, the team is getting a chance to have a hard, long look at their squad early.

It’s a good thing, too, because there are questions that must be answered post-haste.

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2011 MLB Predictions: Felix Hernandez and the Top 20 AL Cy Young Candidates

The decision to award the 2010 Cy Young to Felix Hernandez was a historical aberration. His 13-12 record was by far the worst of any starting pitcher to win the award; his 12 losses were the most for any pitcher who failed to win 20 games.

That did not matter in the eyes of the voters, however. Had he worn a jersey reading “New York” rather than “Seattle,” he could have won close to 25 games, so good were his statistics other than his Win-Loss record.

Now, with Opening Day just over two weeks away, our attention turns to the 2011 award, and whether or not someone can dethrone King Felix.

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Spring Training 2011: Each Team’s Player To Watch from Weekend’s First Games

Baseball season is finally here!

With the first spring training games played this past weekend, fans got to see the first look at what their 2011 team will look like. From getting to see their team’s big-time prospects to the veterans, everyone is starting to make their predictions on everything from how a particular player will perform in 2011 to the which team will in the World Series this season. 

Although not all teams played this past weekend, most did, and thus, we can start to get an idea of who we should keep an eye on this spring.

With that, based on this weekend and the talk about them this winter, let’s take a look at some of the players you should be keeping an eye on as spring training progresses. 

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